Healthcare on the Hill - Transparent Health Care Pricing Act of 2018 (H. R. 4808)

April 17, 2018

The drive to bring more transparency to healthcare costs can be seen at both the federal and state levels (see some state healthcare transparency legislation and statistics here). Since healthcare expenses are such a large part of individual's and government's budget this is not surprising.

This bill sponsored by Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) requires that all providers of healthcare related items (providers includes: pharmaceutical manufacturers, physicians, nurses, hospitals, etc) disclose, on a continuous basis, all prices for such items, products, services, or procedures in accordance with this section.

(b) Manner Of Disclosure.—The disclosure required under subsection (a) shall—
    (1) be made in an open and conspicuous manner;
    (2) be made available at the point of purchase, in print, and on the Internet; and
    (3) include all wholesale, retail, subsidized, discounted, or other such prices the individuals or business entities described in such subsection accept as payment in full for items, products, services, or procedures such individuals or business entities furnish to individual consumers.

Making pricing transparent to consumers and payers is a laudable goal. However it is hard to imagine exactly how this would be implemented in the real world. We will have to see if this advances to enactment and how the various entities would fulfill the disclosure requirements.

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